While mkb's description of post-hole diggers is accurate, i feel a slight modification to the instructions for use is necessary if you value your precious skeletal system.

Before the actual directions, i must point out that even though i have spent the last 4 years living in the middle of downtown Atlanta, i spent the 19 years previous to that living out in the sticks. While my parents' pasture was indeed small in stature (approximately 3.5 acres), an enormous amount of fencing and fence posts go around this amount of property, especially if it isn't a regular polygon. Many days in bitter cold or blazing heat were spent in the pasture, stringing barbed wire, electric fencing, cutting up fallen tress, restretching fencing and, of course, digging post holes. If you still doubt my backwoods cred, we can put my feed sack lugging, tree felling, hay bale tossing, post-hole digging and shitshoveling skills to the Pepsi challenge, punk. That being said, onward to...

How to use post-hole diggers without damaging your skeletal system

Firstly, realize that you are going to be doing physical labor. Dress appropriately. If your post-hole digging needs are anything like mine were, it's either freezing fucking cold or scorching hot outside. Regardless of what else you wear, you must wear gloves and boots (leather gloves and steel-toed boots preferably).

The technique handed down to me from my dear father is usually known as spearchucking, since you are going to treat the handles of the post-hole diggers as if they were spears. That is, when you are ready to get that post-hole dug, get a nice good grip on the handles of the post-hole diggers. Raise the handles up, then quickly and forcefully, bring the post-hole diggers down. At the very last second, let go of the handles.

If you did this properly, the post-hole diggers will be embedded securely in the dirt you want removed and your hands, elbows, shoulders and neck will be just fine. Grab the handles again, pull them away from each other and deposit the plug of dirt nearby. Repeat until you think you're done, then dig another 6 inches down (unless you actually like digging post-holes ya sick fuck, you should make sure the fencepost isn't going anywhere)

If you didn't let go soon enough, the impact of the blades with the ground and your death grip on the handles will send a tingly impact up your hands and into your wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck. Please believe me when i tell you that this hurts. Spend an entire day digging post holes with a death grip on the handles and your upper body will feel like jelly. Besides the ouchy ouchy, you're wasting energy. If your technique is horrible or your aim is bad, you could also get splinters (hence the gloves) or drive the post-hole diggers into your foot (hence the steel-toed boots).

Work smarter, not harder. Get the post-hole diggers moving and let go. Remember, every erg of energy saved in working is one more erg you get to expend while drinking cold beer on the front porch.

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